Glorious Gardens from Above episode 5 – Sussex: Christine Walkden takes to the skies above Sussex. She drops in at West Dean Garden to see the fruits of a 20-year labour of love and meets Laura, who found a new lease of life there.
At Arundel Castle Gardens, she is astonished by the transformation of a former car park into a spectacular Italian garden. And we discover what the Romans did for British gardens.
Glorious Gardens from Above episode 5 – Sussex
West Dean Garden
The West Dean Estate has approximately 6,350 acres of land. The Estate has 136 houses and cottages, as well as more than 100 farm buildings; some are occupied by the staff of the Estate and College, as well as by pensioners of the Foundation and local families. There are twelve farms on the Estate, many of which have been owned by the estate for generations and their agricultural activates are split between livestock and cereals.
The woodlands comprise around 1,932 acres of the estate, the main tree species being the native beech, found on the South Downs. The woodlands were badly affected by the storms of 1987 and 1990, and the woodland took over a decade to recover.
Woodlands have become increasingly important, particularly when it became the key fuel to provide heating for the Estate in the 1970s. After the old boilers and electric heater proved to be incapable with dealing with the need from the evergrowing West Dean College, other methods were looked into, and wood fuel appeared to be the best alternative and the most eco friendly. 1,200 tonnes of wood chipping is needed to supply not only West Dean College, but several other residences on the estate as well, including the village church. The woodland also conceals a rich heritage with sites like Goosehill Camp dating back to the Iron Age.
Arundel Castle Gardens
Arundel Castle is a restored and remodelled medieval castle in Arundel, West Sussex, England. It was established by Roger de Montgomery on Christmas Day 1067. Roger became the first to hold the earldom of Arundel by the graces of William the Conqueror. The castle was damaged in the English Civil War and then restored in the 18th and 19th centuries.
From the 11th century, the castle has served as a home and has been in the ownership of the family of the Duke of Norfolk for over 400 years. It is the principal seat of the Howard family, whose heads have been first Earls of Arundel and then Dukes of Norfolk. It is a Grade I listed building.